At the end of 2004 Britannia launched a new enhanced website. This site complied with the new FSA mortgage legislations and strove to increase the accessibility of the site to ensure it was usable for disabled people accessing the site with assistive technologies (for example screen readers or adapted keyboards or joysticks).
Britannia wanted to have the changes they made to the website validated from a usability and accessibility perspective to ensure that they were heading in the right direction and serving their customers well. And that is when they called us…
What we did
Taking a truly user centred approach to the project, User Vision initially conducted expert usability evaluations and accessibility audits on the site. These are quick and cost effective reviews of the site and quickly revealed obvious usability and accessibility issues for Britannia together with clear recommendation on how to improve these.
To complement these reports we also undertook a competitor analysis which examined key journeys on four of Britannia’s competitor websites and benchmarked Britannia against their competitors, showing feature-for-feature how the sites compared. A detailed analysis of the comparison helped define the key learnings from the study and the strengths and weaknesses of the Britannia site.
Once the collective recommendations had been actioned and created in a prototype format, User Vision undertook usability testing with real users who were representative of Britannia customers and prospective customers.
User Vision worked with the Britannia web team to create pre and post test interview questions, realistic test tasks and questionnaires that measured the user reaction to the website usability, design and the Britannia brand. For each task the success and failure rate was measured and customers gave a score to indicate clearly how easy or difficult they found it.
These scores helped to back up the detailed qualitative notes of our usability consultant moderating the sessions and indicated the areas on the site that worked well and those which needed improvement. The testing validated many of the changes that the web team had worked very hard to implement. It also revealed usability and accessibility issues that were preventing customers from effectively using the site.
Britannia web team observed all the testing and were able to see first hand users struggling with the site – an eye opening experience! Their involvement in the testing gave them a closer understanding of how their site is used and how important it is to focus on the user when creating the site.
User Vision outlined the issues in a comprehensive report and offered practical recommendations on how to improve the site. We then presented the results of the testing to an audience that consisted of representatives from all parts of Britannia. This ensured the message was clearly communicated and there was cross-departmental buy in to improving the website.
Britannia was delighted with the work done by User Vision, in particular as mortgage sales were around less than a third of target in April, but post implementation of our recommendations (coupled with a particularly strong product rate) sales soared to 107% of target.